When the Boston Red Sox brought up third-base prospect Will Middlebrooks to cover for a Kevin Youkilis injury, things got complicated. Middlebrooks started raking, and Youkilis kept ailing. Rumors started that suggested Youkilis was on his way out, which GM Ben Cherington strongly denied. Middlebrooks started to slump a bit -- .212/.289/.212 in 33 June at-bats -- and the rumors died down a bit.
Until now! From the Ken Rosenthal/Jon Morosi tandem:
Trade dialogue surrounding the beleaguered Boston third baseman has intensified in the last 24 to 48 hours, major-league sources told FOXSports.com. The Red Sox have made clear that (a) Youkilis is available and (b) they are willing to include cash to facilitate a better player return. In response, a number of clubs have indicated that they have interest in acquiring the three-time All-Star.
Youkilis is hitting .215/.301/.341 on the season, and if we're going to mention what Middlebrooks is hitting in June, it's only fair to point out that Youkilis is hitting .128/.261/.179 for the month.